Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats


84                   HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
broke out in every part of the Empire, and the dis-
integration of the Caliphate was hastened by the anarchy
at headquarters, which paralysed all attempts at repression
and left the provincial governors without, support,
The Rise of the Sajfar i>y;;^#v-~ During the Caliphate
of Mutawakkil a certain Salih ibn Nasr collected a body
of men in Sistan under the pretext of crushing an out-
break of Kharijites, and seized the province* The
Tahirid prince marched to Sistan in person and succeeded
in putting an end to the fighting between Salih and the
Kharijites, but upon his departure Salih again took the
field and was apparently allowed to hold the province
without further molestation.
Among his most able adherents was a certain Vakub
bin Lais, known as Saffiir, or "the Coppersmith,*1 from
the trade pursued by his family, This extraordinary
adventurer, who while still a boy was noted for his
generosity, upon reaching manhood took to highway
robbery, which has frequently been a road to distinction
in Persia. His generosity and courage speedily brought
him success and a large following, which he placed ut the
disposal of Salih, and in A,H» 247 (S6i)? the year in which
Mutawakkil was assassinated, he became commander or
the army of Sistan under Halih's successor. His first
success was the capture of Herat in A.H. 253 (K76), and
having overrun and annexed Kermans and subsequently
Pars, he soon became ruler of an extensive kingdom.
| He founded a short-lived dynasty which is remembered
I with much affection by Persians, both because they
consider it to be the first Persian dynasty after the Arab
conquest, and also because it sprang from Sistan, the
home of Rustam and of the Keianian Tine*
Motamid) A,H- 256-279 (870-892),—After nine years
of anarchy> Motamid, the eldest surviving son of
Mutawakkil, was elected Caliph* The Court returned
to Baghdad, where Turkish influence was less strong,
and guided by Motamid's brother, Muaffak, who actually
1 Many years ago I wa* allowed to see and make a pricii of an old marwucript
history of Bam by a certain Seyyid Tahir-u-Din ibn Sh*mi»u-Din of Bam, In it
Yakub and his brother are prafeed, the former for improving the city of JJruft and the
latter for building a mo&que ia It,